A Grants Pass mother was arrested on charges she abused her children and committed fraud.
Katherine Parker, who goes by Kate, was arrested at her Grants Pass home on Tuesday after a Multnomah County Grand Jury indicted her on 43 charges.
The charges include 24 counts of criminal mistreatment in the first degree, four counts of assault in the fist-degree, four counts of computer crime, one count of child abandonment, four counts of identity theft, five counts of witness tampering and one count of recklessly endangering another person.
Prosecutors confirm the alleged victims are one of Parker's biological sons, now 8 years old, and two adopted daughters, both younger than 8 years old.
Court documents detailing the allegations are not yet public, but Tiffany Reed, a grand jury witness, told Fox 12 she was questioned about Parker's care of the children at home and at Legacy Emanuel Medical Center in Portland.
"I'm devastated, you know. I'm devastated for her kids. I'm devastated for her," said Tiffany Reed, who met Parker online in 2010. "Whatever caused her to do this, she must be hurting terribly to be able to hurt her kids or need that type of attention. There's clearly something larger going on."
Reed met Parker through an Internet support group for parents of children with brain abnormalities. Their sons were at Legacy Emanuel for treatment at the same time in 2011, she said.
Reed said one of Parker's adopted daughters has juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.
She says Parker led her to believe Parker's son was dying, so she gave the family more than $1,000 from 2010 to 2012.
Fox 12 also found two fundraising websites friends set up for the Parker family.
A YouCaring.com website asked for donations so the Parker's husband could take time off from work after his son dies. It raised more than $2,300 for the family before the fundraising campaign ended five months ago.
A FundRazr.com page asks for donations for funeral expenses for both Parker's son and daughter. No donations were made on the page before the campaign was paused.
The person who created the page has not responded to a request for comment.
"To think that another family was raising money for who knows what under the false pretense that their kids were dying is devastating," said Reed.
While Parker lives in Josephine County, she will be transferred to Multnomah County Jail to face charges. Crimes are typically prosecuted in the county in which they are alleged to have been committed.
A welfare hearing for six of Parker's children will continue in Josephine County family court on Thursday.
Copyright 2014 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.
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